5 Zero-Waste Tips for Vegans
Whether youre looking to go zero-waste or just to develop more sustainable habits, these simple tips will help you—and the planet.
Americans create a lot of waste—we’re talking 254 million tons per year. That’s enough to stretch to the moon and back 25 times. Following a vegan and plant-based diet certainly helps to cut down on that waste drastically, but there’s still so much we can do as individuals to try to live as sustainably as possible—especially in our current environmental climate. Here’s a few simple zero-waste tips and tricks that can be easily implemented into your everyday life and help you live more sustainably.
Avoid single use items
Throwaway items such as plastic utensils and coffee cups are so ingrained in our consumerist culture that we don’t think about the amount of waste they create throughout the course of a year. If you’re looking to lower your footprint, opt to bring your own travel mug to your local coffee shop, and invest in a pair of bamboo utensils to carry in your bag so you can skip the plastic utensils when eating out. You can also bring your own Mason jar when dining out, to carry home your leftovers. By implementing these practices into your routine, soon they can become eco-friendly habits.
Food and lawn waste make up 25 percent of all waste in landfills, but that number can be easily reduced by starting your own compost system. There are so many different ways to compost, but one of the simplest ways is a binless “trenching” method. Simply save all your veggie scraps in a sealed container or kitchen compost bin, and then bury the scraps at least 8 inches deep in your garden bed. Soon you’ll have nutrient-rich soil primed for planting vegetables or herbs.
Americans toss away about 80 pounds of clothing per person every year! Avoid fast-fashion and cheaply made clothes—instead, let thrift stores become your best friend. Find the local secondhand shop, Crossroads Trading Co., or Buffalo Exchange in your area. Not only can you find great deals on quality clothing items, but you’ll often score one-of-a-kind items that you definitely wouldn’t find in a trendy chain clothing store. On the flipside, donate your clothes to a thrift store, rather than tossing them in the trash.
Buy in bulk
The bulk section of the grocery store is a great place to start when going zero-waste. Not only does it eliminate excess packaging, but by bringing your own cloth bulk bags or Mason jars, you can eliminate the need for plastic bags, and thus waste, altogether. Follow Fit Bottomed Eats DIY Guide to Making Your Own Reusable Bulk Bags, to give new life to an old T-shirt and help out the planet along the way.
If you have a high-speed blender and some extra time in your schedule, you can whip up everything from homemade almond milk to nut butters. Use Mason jars to store them in the fridge and cut down on all those cartons piling up in your recycling bin. Making your own homemade staples can be a bit daunting at first, but with a few recipes under your belt, they’ll become second nature in no time at all.
Sarah McLaughin is an editorial assistant at VegNews, who enjoys DIY projects and all things homemade.
Why Going Vegan Can Help You Relax
Are you someone who practices mindful meditation? If so, heres why you should be vegan (if you arent already).
Read More »
Want Political Change? It's Time to Start Voting Vegan
Lets put ethical, moral, and environmentally conscious champions in government.
Read More »
5 Reasons Your Next Vacation Should Be Aboard the Vegan Holistic Holiday at Sea
A 10-night vegan cruise with healthy food and a plethora of plant-based celebs? Yes, please!
Read More »
How Do You Remember 100 Songs in 4 Days? For Pop-Punk Band Alkaline Trio, the Answer is Veganism
Matt Skiba says eschewing dairy helps with his voice and his on-stage energy level.
Read More »
5 Woman-Owned Vegan Businesses You Should Be Obsessed With
What's even better than a vegan business? A vegan business owned by a woman.
Read More »
- 6 Valentine's Day Gifts for that Vegan Curmudgeon in Your Life
- 6 Red-Hot Vegan Lipsticks To Drive Your Valentine Crazy
- How a Vegan Canadian Figure Skater Prepared to Win Gold at the Winter Olympics
- How to Be a Vegan Teen Valentine
- Vegan Valentine's Day Tips From No. 1 Best-Selling Author Kathy Freston
- 5 Vegan Turmeric Recipes for Those Who Are Slightly Intimidated by It
- How A Vegan Diet is Making ''Everything'' Easier for One Punk Singer
- Your Meat-Eating Friends Want One of These 10 Vegan Books
- 7 Ways to Veganize Your Bed, Just in Time for Valentine's Day
- 5 Steps to the Perfect Vegan Valentine's Day
- 8 Love-Infused Vegan Events to Celebrate Valentine's Day
- Thanks to These 7 Vegan Pies, We Have Declared National Pizza Day a Holiday
- No Valentine This Year? Try Vegan Speed Dating
- 6 Ways to Queer Your Vegan Valentine's Day
- Bought Too Many Vegan Girl Scout Cookies? Here are 10 Desserts You Should Make With Them
- Glow Up With These 18 Vegan Beauty Brands in 2018
- How One Chef is Getting NFL Players to Go Vegan
- From Struggling for Breath to Running Marathons: Veganism Saved His Life
- 6 Badass Vegan Women Who Don't Take Any Sh*t
- 10 Vegan Chip and Dip Match-Ups Fit For A Super Bowl Smackdown